Celebrate among history at Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum By Jillian Chandler | Photo by In Gear Media
A Gig Harbor treasure, owned by the Juranich family, the Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum held its soft opening shortly before the pandemic hit. Although its doors were shuttered to the public for the past two years, the planes still roared on behind the scenes.
Fortunately, to the delight of its owners and the community, the museum, located at the Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor, reopened March 1 of this year, and the unique, inviting and exciting venue is ready to welcome you and your guests for your next upscale event.
“We strive to be the premier event space for aviation-themed weddings and receptions, retirements, celebrations of life, anniversaries and Military galas,” affirms Brandon Baimbridge, executive director of the museum. “Working with the local community’s caterers and musicians, DJs and lighting crews, we strive to provide the best service possible to our clients.”
During his 20 years in the Air Force, and 10 deployments, Brandon honed his skills in the aviation field; developed discipline and safety-consciousness; refined and expanded his technical knowledge; was provided real-world experiences; was exposed to cultures around the world; and his love for aviation was fostered. Brandon founded AV8RS, LLC, an aircraft maintenance, brokerage and aviation consulting business in May of 2022. With his vast experience and passion for aviation, he was hired in February of this year as the executive director of the Vintage Aero Museum.
“I enjoy the world of aviation. Since my first flight with my grandfather, who flew in WWII, I have been hooked,” he states. “When Bob Juranich approached me about running the museum, I was thrilled. My wife and I discussed the role, and decided it was a perfect fit for our family. I enjoy that every day is different.”
When it comes to what makes the Vintage Aero Museum the perfect place to elevate your celebration, Brandon is quick to reply, “History matters! We believe sharing our vintage aircraft helps keep the history alive. The flexibility of our 12,400-square-foot space is also unique—allowing for a variety of layouts. We can have a blank canvas (empty hangar) with no vehicles or aircraft for an art exhibit on Wednesday followed by a Friday afternoon wedding with the aircraft surrounding the bride and groom.”
Fourteen planes grace the museum floor. Though all are impressive, Brandon shares his favorite—the WACO YMF-3. “The flashy YMF-3 coming out of the factory is one of the most expensive airplanes at the hangar. Created for a niche market of wealthy aviators during the depression, only 12 YMF-3s were built,” he notes. “Owners of the plane were die-hard fans of the open cockpit in a world quickly being dominated by enclosed cabins. Notable owners of this particular airplane were Benjamin Brewster, a member of the elite New York Brewster family from 1936 to 1940, and the DuPont Family from 1940 to 1943.”
This pristine venue also boasts 20-foot ceilings and highly polished concrete floors that mirror the beauty of each plane—and these stunning antique planes most certainly make for the ultimate conversation pieces. The 60-by-14-foot hangar doors can be open to let the outside in and allow for the event to flow to the outdoors, where guests can enjoy watching aircraft take off and land.
To personalize your special event, two 12-by-20-foot state-of-the-art projection screens are available with in-house audio-visual systems.
The museum's event planners are also available to help plan your special occasion from start to finish.
When you book your event with Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum, up to 200 white chairs, 20 six-foot round tables and 14 six-foot rectangle tables are included in the rental fee, along with free parking and Wi-Fi. You can find a list of approved vendors at GigHarborAirMuseum.com/event-space, though they are open to approving outside vendors upon request.
The Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum proudly supports Rotary International members and Active Duty Military members, granting discounts for these groups to host their special events and celebrations at the museum.
If you or someone you know is interested in touring the museum and getting a quote for your special event, you are invited to email email@example.com or call 253.393.7456. If you find yourself needing to plan for a last-minute event and are in search of a venue, the Vintage Aero Museum is happy to accommodate short-notice bookings as well. Celebrate in elegance among history … at the Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum.
Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum
1108 26th Avenue NW
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335